#1
say im playing the major scale in the key of E and i want to go into a pentatonic minor, would i go to E pentatonic minor to stay in the key of E or would i play C# minor pentatonic because thats E's relative minor and minor pentatonic is..minor

i guess the answer seems pretty obvious but at the same time on not really sure. this could apply to a vast number of things other than just major and pentatonic so i want to know for sure.
Quote by loganrocksabass

how can your girlfriend be in your band if she's in the kitchen?
#3
Quote by bangoodcharlote
E major pentatonic.



lets just say i want to play in minor pentatonic
Quote by loganrocksabass

how can your girlfriend be in your band if she's in the kitchen?
#4
You wouldn't use minor pentatonic in a major key, not unless it's a bluesy song, in which case, you would use E minor pentatonic.

Edit: Remember, a scale is a group of notes, not a position, box, or pattern. The E major Pentatonic scale exists all over the neck and contains that fingering you know as C# minor pentatonic at frets 9-12.
#5
I'm not entirely sure I understand what you're saying but to use the minor pentatonic shapes you'd go with C# minor pentatonic if you wanted to stay diatonic to E major.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#6
hmm, so what im gathering is that if im playing E maj i wouldnt even really use minor pentatonic in any key? i was just thinking for a song or just improvisational purposes i could be playing e maj and then if i wanted to switch it up for a solo or something go to minor pentatonic...what would be the more correct way to go about it
Quote by loganrocksabass

how can your girlfriend be in your band if she's in the kitchen?
#7
Quote by ratm92
hmm, so what im gathering is that if im playing E maj i wouldnt even really use minor pentatonic in any key? i was just thinking for a song or just improvisational purposes i could be playing e maj and then if i wanted to switch it up for a solo or something go to minor pentatonic...what would be the more correct way to go about it



well you can use the C#minor pentatonic shape. Keep in mind that technically your really just playing E Major pentatonic. If you dont understand why at this point, its ok. When you start to study theory it will make more sense.

Using the related minor shape allows those that dont yet know the Major patterns a way to solo in a Major Key. This is useful for the many players that learn the minor patterns before the Major due to the fact that a majority of the solos for rock and metal are in minor.

You can do this with any major key.... count back 4 frets from the tonic (E in this case).... and play either minor, or minor pentatonic.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Mar 17, 2008,
#8
Quote by ratm92
hmm, so what im gathering is that if im playing E maj i wouldnt even really use minor pentatonic in any key? i was just thinking for a song or just improvisational purposes i could be playing e maj and then if i wanted to switch it up for a solo or something go to minor pentatonic...what would be the more correct way to go about it


Rewrite the song in a minor key.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#9
Quote by GuitarMunky
well you can use the C#minor pentatonic shape. Keep in mind that technically your really just playing E Major pentatonic. If you dont understand why at this point, its ok. When you start to study theory it will make more sense.

Using the related minor shape allows those that dont yet know the Major patterns a way to solo in a Major Key. This is useful for the many players that learn the minor patterns before the Major due to the fact that a majority of the solos for rock and metal are in minor.

You can do this with any major key.... count back 4 frets from the tonic (E in this case).... and play either minor, or minor pentatonic.


oo yeah, i for some reason i completely forgot about all that. i guess that answers my question in that all of the corespondents between the major and minor are the same things with different names. i dont really understand theory a whole lot so it still kind of confuses me how you can play the same notes in major and in minor when they are supposed to have different tones but i guess it just really relies on the different root you are landing on.

the only other thing i can think of is, are there any other types of scales that match up like C# minor and E major? i know there are more than just major and minor scales but now im wondering if those all fit together too. its nice to only have to learn one scale and know how to translate it than to have to learn 2 different ones that are essentially the exact same thing.
Quote by loganrocksabass

how can your girlfriend be in your band if she's in the kitchen?
#10
Quote by ratm92
oo yeah, i for some reason i completely forgot about all that. i guess that answers my question in that all of the corespondents between the major and minor are the same things with different names. i dont really understand theory a whole lot so it still kind of confuses me how you can play the same notes in major and in minor when they are supposed to have different tones but i guess it just really relies on the different root you are landing on.

the only other thing i can think of is, are there any other types of scales that match up like C# minor and E major? i know there are more than just major and minor scales but now im wondering if those all fit together too. its nice to only have to learn one scale and know how to translate it than to have to learn 2 different ones that are essentially the exact same thing.


well the reason it works is because although they are in fact different scales..... they share the same notes, and therefore have the same patterns on the neck.

For an example

C# minor scale = C# D# E F# G# A B

E Major scale = E F# G# A B C# D#


if you compared their scale formulas you would see they are different, and if you listen to them you can tell they are different..... but as you can see, they share the same notes..... which means they also share the same patterns on the neck. Thats why substituting one for the other works.

its the background music that dictates what key your actually in. IF your chords are in E major.... then your solo will sound as E major.... if your chords are in C# minor, then your solo will sound as C# minor


If thats over your head, just know this. If the key is Major, and you want the comfort of using the minor or minor pentatonic scale. Just count 4 frets back from the tonic (including the tonic), and play minor or minor pentatonic... or minor blues if you know that.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Mar 17, 2008,
#11
If thats over your head just know this. If the key is Major, and you want the comfort of using the minor or minor pentatonic scale. Just count 4 frets back from the tonic (including the tonic).


To add to this: The progression determines the mode. You can play the "minor pentatonic shape", but if the song is in the relative major, you are not playing the minor pentatonic. Scales are not box shapes.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#12
Quote by Archeo Avis
To add to this: The progression determines the mode. You can play the "minor pentatonic shape", but if the song is in the relative major, you are not playing the minor pentatonic. Scales are not box shapes.


thats explained in my post.

and no box shapes arent scales. But, those shapes represent scales, and if you play from tonic to tonic in one of those shapes, you are in fact playing a scale.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Mar 17, 2008,
#14
Quote by GuitarplayaMD
E major=C# minor


shares same notes, but its not the same scale though.

different scale formulas.... different sound.
#15
Actually, for any key you have THREE pentatonic majors and/or minors at your
disposal which you can use to various effects. In the key of E:

E pentatonic major and its relative C# pentatonic minor
A pentatonic major and its relative F# pentatonic minor
B pentatonic major and its relative G# pentatonic minor

They all fit completely in key.

EDIT: To clarify -- you wouldn't necessarily be playing a pent major or minor
tonality with all those, but you can use those notes and still be in key.
Last edited by edg at Mar 17, 2008,
#16
Quote by edg
Actually, for any key you have THREE pentatonic majors and/or minors at your
disposal which you can use to various effects. In the key of E:

E pentatonic major and its relative C# pentatonic minor
A pentatonic major and its relative F# pentatonic minor
B pentatonic major and its relative G# pentatonic minor

They all fit completely in key.


Yep yep, cool stuff. Try playing playing other pentatonic scales over the chords, it may sound cool to you.
#17
Quote by bangoodcharlote
You wouldn't use minor pentatonic in a major key, not unless it's a bluesy song, in which case, you would use E minor pentatonic.
Definitely. I use minor pents over major progressions a lot. Pentatonics are so "roomy" it can be done. Bending up when hitting flatted notes sound very nice. For example in Emaj a G to a G# - nice and bluesy. Give it a try.
Gear:
Inflatable Guitar
Digitech GSP 2101/Mosvalve 962/Yamaha S412V
My Imagination
#18
Play the heptatonic scales. That way you have all seven notes which are in key, and can avoid the 4th and 7th degrees to play pentatonically.
#19
thanks for all your answers so far, they've all been really helpful..

Quote by edg
Actually, for any key you have THREE pentatonic majors and/or minors at your
disposal which you can use to various effects. In the key of E:

E pentatonic major and its relative C# pentatonic minor
A pentatonic major and its relative F# pentatonic minor
B pentatonic major and its relative G# pentatonic minor

They all fit completely in key.

EDIT: To clarify -- you wouldn't necessarily be playing a pent major or minor
tonality with all those, but you can use those notes and still be in key.


in response to that, does it work with any scale in any key to switch to a new scale in the key of the fifth of the original scale and still remain in tonality?
Quote by loganrocksabass

how can your girlfriend be in your band if she's in the kitchen?
#20
Quote by ratm92
thanks for all your answers so far, they've all been really helpful..

in response to that, does it work with any scale in any key to switch to a new scale in the key of the fifth of the original scale and still remain in tonality?


You're not switching to a new scale. You can that "A minor box shape" all you want, but if the progression resolves to C, you're using C major. Don't worry about modes yet. For now, just think of A minor and C major as completely different scales.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#21
Most of the cases Major scales are for major chords and perfect fifth chords only, and the like. I used to think before of that way, but as my experience increases, I may use minor scales and major scales at the same time, and I do it by hitting a common note between the two scales I'm about to use, like for example, D Major and D Minor, when I'm playing the D major scale and I'm about to shift to D minor scale, I hit the root and/or major second note before I hit the minor third, which is on the minor scale.

Hope that this tip helps.
#22
Quote by ratm92
thanks for all your answers so far, they've all been really helpful..


in response to that, does it work with any scale in any key to switch to a new scale in the key of the fifth of the original scale and still remain in tonality?


No, it only works with the pentatonics because the notes that make up the A and B minor pentatonics are in the key of E; it also applies to other keys but not other scales.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#23
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
No, it only works with the pentatonics because the notes that make up the A and B minor pentatonics are in the key of E; it also applies to other keys but not other scales.


But they include F# and C, which the E minor pentatonic does not contain, which are in the E natural minor scale. These notes are "avoid notes" in that they are the most likely notes to sound dissonant in the scale, however they also make the solos the most interesting. They are removed for the pentatonic scale to make soloing easier, as the soloist will not have to worry about how to use these notes properly. Using the Am and Bm pentatonic scales over an Em progression, will essentially only add confusion, and will sound no different from the E natural minor.
#24
Quote by isaac_bandits
Using the Am and Bm pentatonic scales over an Em progression, will essentially only add confusion, and will sound no different from the E natural minor.


Not necessarily. If you only use the A minor pentatonic shape while the backing chord is an A minor (or A major, for that matter...), and likewise for the B, then it sounds perfect (at least to my ears - I love the sound of doing that)
Strat / SH-201 -> DOD Mixer -> ZVex Mastotron -> Fulltone Clyde -> BYOC OD II -> Ibanez FLL -> VS Chorus -> DOD FX 96 -> Boss DD-6 -> MXR 10-Band EQ -> Boss RC-2 -> Stereo Mixer -> Alesis PicoVerb -> Peavey Delta Blues 210/Yamaha Fifty112
#25
Quote by seedmole
Not necessarily. If you only use the A minor pentatonic shape while the backing chord is an A minor (or A major, for that matter...), and likewise for the B, then it sounds perfect (at least to my ears - I love the sound of doing that)


But then you are modulating into A minor for that chord, and then back to E minor. You just aren't realizing it. Also an A minor pentatonic "box shape" contains only notes of E natural minor, so with the B and F# notes added, it will sound like E minor.
#26
just to clear some things up..

E major and C# minor are considered relative because they have the same notes

BUT.. they're not the same because the notes have a different Harmonic Function
Quote by joshjhasarrived
Little does the government suspect that it's funds are being rapidly drained through funding infinite free cardboard boxes to bored teenagers on an internet forum.
Last edited by victoryaloy at Mar 19, 2008,
#27
Quote by victoryaloy
just to clear some things up..

E major and C# minor are the same because they have the same notes

BUT.. the notes have a different Harmonic Function


If the notes have the same function then. The Scales are not the same. You just contradicted yourself. I'm sure any person on this forum who has a good knowledge of theory, will agree that E Major, and C# minor are completely different scales, and are only relative.
#28
Quote by isaac_bandits
If the notes have the same function then. The Scales are not the same. You just contradicted yourself. I'm sure any person on this forum who has a good knowledge of theory, will agree that E Major, and C# minor are completely different scales, and are only relative.



i get what your saying.. i just worded it funny..

i'll reword it!

Edit: i fixed it!!
Quote by joshjhasarrived
Little does the government suspect that it's funds are being rapidly drained through funding infinite free cardboard boxes to bored teenagers on an internet forum.
Last edited by victoryaloy at Mar 19, 2008,
#29
The keys of E and C# minor are NOT the same and in fact contain different notes.

The scales which you may be referring to do contain the same notes.
#30
Quote by victoryaloy
i get what your saying.. i just worded it funny..

i'll reword it!

Edit: i fixed it!!


No, it still is incorrect. It should say they are considered to be relative because they contain the same notes.
#31
Quote by isaac_bandits
No, it still is incorrect. It should say they are considered to be relative because they contain the same notes.


how about now
Quote by joshjhasarrived
Little does the government suspect that it's funds are being rapidly drained through funding infinite free cardboard boxes to bored teenagers on an internet forum.
#33
Quote by isaac_bandits
But they include F# and C, which the E minor pentatonic does not contain, which are in the E natural minor scale. These notes are "avoid notes" in that they are the most likely notes to sound dissonant in the scale, however they also make the solos the most interesting. They are removed for the pentatonic scale to make soloing easier, as the soloist will not have to worry about how to use these notes properly. Using the Am and Bm pentatonic scales over an Em progression, will essentially only add confusion, and will sound no different from the E natural minor.


I didn't say anything about them being in the E minor pentatonic scale, I just said that the notes that make up A and B minor pentatonic are also in the key of E.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#34
Quote by isaac_bandits
Using the Am and Bm pentatonic scales over an Em progression, will essentially only add confusion, and will sound no different from the E natural minor.


No, they'll have thier own unique sound. Maybe similar, but still unique.
What would be the confusion?

In general it's probably not something one would use, but if there's any kind of
key modulation in the progression these other pentatonics can be very useful.
#35
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
I didn't say anything about them being in the E minor pentatonic scale, I just said that the notes that make up A and B minor pentatonic are also in the key of E.

I never said they were in E minor pentatonic. I said they were in E natural minor. It is more useful to use E natural minor, where each note only has one harmonic function, rather than modulating between Em pentatonic, Am pentatonic, and Bm pentatonic, where each note has several harmonic functions. Also using E natural minor all over the neck will help with getting out of box positions, rather than just moving up to a different box position, which is what you would do to go between the pentatonics.
#36
Quote by isaac_bandits
I never said they were in E minor pentatonic. I said they were in E natural minor. It is more useful to use E natural minor, where each note only has one harmonic function, rather than modulating between Em pentatonic, Am pentatonic, and Bm pentatonic, where each note has several harmonic functions. Also using E natural minor all over the neck will help with getting out of box positions, rather than just moving up to a different box position, which is what you would do to go between the pentatonics.


I know you didn't but you seemed to think that I did. Anyway I'm not talking about just using box positions to move around the neck I think that thinking in terms of having three pentatonic boxes to work with gives you a good way of making tired cliche sounding blues licks a slightly different sound by using one of the other pentatonic positions available to you so instead of just going (say):

e|--------12-------
b|-----12----15b17-
g|-14b-------------
d|-----------------
a|-----------------
e|-----------------


and only using the root, 4th, 5th and minor 7th you can do that exact same lick in, for example, 7th position and be using the root, 2nd, 5th and 4th making the exact same lick more harmonically interesting without actually learning anything new in terms of physical motions.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#37
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr

and only using the root, 4th, 5th and minor 7th you can do that exact same lick in, for example, 7th position and be using the root, 2nd, 5th and 4th making the exact same lick more harmonically interesting without actually learning anything new in terms of physical motions.


But why not learn more physical motions?

You can achieve the same sounds and learn more.
#38
Quote by isaac_bandits
rather than modulating between Em pentatonic, Am pentatonic, and Bm pentatonic, where each note has several harmonic functions.
E Minor Scale- E F# G A B C D
A Minor Pent-A C D E G
B Minor Pent-B D E F# A

So, if you start playing blues licks out of the "A or B minor pentatonic scales," you're still playing notes in the E minor scale, but it's an interesting way to think about it that expands your possibilities. I put that in quotes because, in standard notation, nothing will look odd; you'll be playing notes in the E minor scale. In fact, you're still playing in E minor! However, thinking of it as A and B minor pentatonics allows you to play things you wouldn't normally think of.